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Specific and sensitive determination of digoxin and metabolites in human serum by high performance liquid chromatography with cyclodextrin solid-phase extraction and precolumn fluorescence derivatization

Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0731-7085(95)01593-0
  • Cyclodextrin Solid-Phase
  • Digoxin
  • Digoxin Metabolites
  • Fluorescence Derivatization
  • Hplc
  • Human Serum
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology


Abstract A precolumn fluorescence derivatization high performance liquid chromatographic method has been developed for the simultaneous determination of digoxin and its metabolites digoxigenin bisdigitoxoside, digoxigenin monodigitoxoside digoxigenin, and dihydrodigoxin (20- R and 20- S epimers) in human serum. Digoxin and its metabolites were extracted from serum samples (containing digitoxin as internal standard) with a cyclodextrin solid-phase extraction (SPE) column. Fluorescent derivatives were formed by reaction of the analytes with 1-naphthoyl chloride in the presence of 4-dimethylaminopyridine under a nitrogen atmosphere in a glove box with controlled relative humidity (26% r.h. or less). The derivatives were isolated using cyclodextrin and Cl SPE columns sequentially, and determined by HPLC using silica column separation and fluorescence detection. Calibration curves were linear over the concentration range from 0.25 to 4.0 ng ml −1. Recoveries of digoxin and its metabolites from serum ranged from 62 to 86%, and coefficients of variation from repetitive analyses ranged from 6.9 to 20.9% and from 5.8 to 12.2% at 0.5 ng ml −1 and 2.0 ng ml −1, respectively. This method has been shown capable of specifically determining digoxin and its major metabolites in serum, and has been successfully used in the determination of digoxin and its metabolites in serum samples collected from patients undergoing digoxin therapy. This method thus permits the investigation of digoxin metabolism and pharmacokinetics after the administration of commercial dosage forms.

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